The GSMA has launched the Green Power for Mobile program, which aims to power 118,000 new and existing off-grid base stations in developing countries by 2012 with renewable energy sources. The move could save up to 2.5 billion liters of diesel per year and cut annual CO2 emissions by up to 6.3 million tons.
The program is backed by 25 mobile operators and will provide expertise to support the deployment of base stations that use renewable energy. Most off-grid base stations use diesel fuel to power generators.
GSMA’s research suggests that rising diesel prices and falling renewable equipment costs mean that operators investing in green power sources for base stations could recoup the capital costs in as little as 24 months.
Idea Cellular, a pilot by GSMA Development Found and Ericsson, now uses waste cooking oil to help power more than 350 base stations in India. The base stations run on a blend made up of 80 percent diesel fuel and 20 percent waste cooking oil.
In July, Ericsson’s solar cell solution was deployed in South America.
Mobile carriers in general are looking for ways to improve energy efficiency.
Nokia has said that it wants to cut energy consumption at some of its mobile base stations by up to 40 percent by 2010. Vodafone has announced plans to reduce its carbon-dioxide emissions by 50 percent by 2020.
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